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Elliot Norton Reviews; Theater in Russia (Soviet Union )


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Elliot Norton Reviews
Theater in Russia (Soviet Union )
Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews four Russian artists at the Club Rooms of the All-Russian Theatrical Society in Moscow: Elina Bystritskaya, actress at the Maly Theatre; Boleslaw Rostotsky, leading Russian critic and professor of the National Theatre Institute; Victor Rozov, popular Russian playwright; Michail Zarjov, leading actor of the Maly Theatre and Chairman of the All-Russian Theatrical Society. They discuss contemporary Russian theater and selection of plays. Zarjov explains that there are 500 theaters in the Soviet Union, 29 in Moscow, and about 20 in Leningrad [Saint Petersburg]. Rozov adds that the 500 theaters that Zarjov mentioned are professional and subsidized by the government. There are also thousands of amateur theaters throughout the Soviet Union.

Rosov talks about the plays of his that have been translated into English, including In Search of Joy and Agency. Bystritskaya talks about how the theater system works. Plays can run for years and alternate nights with other plays. She can play one role in the morning and a different one at night. When Norton asks her if she can get rich as an actor, she says that actors are greedy for roles, not money. They can get rich if they want to though. They discuss the role of actors in society and the fact that Bystritskaya is considered an honored member of society. Rostotsky talks about how well attended the theaters are in the Soviet Union. About six or seven million people go to the theater, because it is so affordable and there are so many theaters. They talk about the Moscow Art Theater as the leading theater, where classics, contemporary theater and American plays are produced. They discuss American plays that have been produced in the Soviet Union recently, including The Ballad of the Sad Café by Edward Albee and The Price by Arthur Miller.

Director: Irma Abdurakhamayova. Taped 6/29/1970.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Theater in Russia (Soviet Union ),” 06/29/1970, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 19, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_846A4D32889345F8A62239969E7697AA.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Theater in Russia (Soviet Union ).” 06/29/1970. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 19, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_846A4D32889345F8A62239969E7697AA>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Theater in Russia (Soviet Union ). Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_846A4D32889345F8A62239969E7697AA
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